Literacy is a vitally important skill for every child to possess. Every subject they study in school and every job they hold throughout their adult years will require some degree of reading and writing. As is the case with most essential life skills, everyone learns to read at their own pace. While some children are able to soak up reading lessons like sponges, others require more time to process the material. Parents and educators looking for effective ways to help children who are experiencing problems with reading can benefit from the following tips.
Engage in Daily Practice Sessions
The time-tested adage “Practice makes perfect” is particularly true in the case of reading. Although some kids are able to develop enviable reading skills with very little practice, these children represent the exception, not the rule. That being the case, any parent that wishes to see their children’s reading abilities flourish would be wise to engage in daily practice sessions. Devoting 30 minutes to a full hour each day to practicing reading with your kids can be tremendously beneficial to their overall literacy in both the short term and long run. Your kids are liable to prove unreceptive to this arrangement at first, but within a few weeks, they should come to accept it as part of their daily routine. Consistency is crucial when developing certain life skills, so be vigilant about enforcing daily practice sessions, regardless of how much pushback you receive from your kids.
Let Your Kids Select Their Own Reading Material
The more interested your kids are in their reading material, the more interested they’re likely to become in reading as a whole. With this in mind, parents should be open to allowing children to select their own reading material. While material selected by your kids shouldn’t act as a substitute for schoolbooks and other educational texts, it can serve as an effective gateway to the world of reading. For example, when helping kids boost their reading comprehension, many parents tend to disparage graphic novels and books that don’t hold any apparent educational value. However, allowing your children to indulge in pleasure reading will ultimately increase their interest in books, thereby providing them with incentive to hone their reading abilities. As long as the material is age-appropriate, no reading is bad reading. Additionally, to ensure that your kids are never at a loss for books suited to their respective reading levels, consider investing in a system of leveled books.
Create a Designated Reading Space in Your Home
With attention spans at all-time lows, devoting one’s full attention to a good book has never been a taller order. You’d be hard-pressed to find a modern-day household that isn’t packed to the brim with digital distractions. From smart phones to computers to video games, few people are at a loss for things to occupy their time. Whether you’re new to reading or working on your umpteenth novel, the aforementioned distractions can make concentration all but impossible. To eliminate this threat, parents should create designated reading spaces that are bereft of televisions, computers and mobile devices. There’s no better place to read than a quiet, relaxed area, and banning electronics from certain parts of your home can help provide you with this.
Develop a Reward System
Many children – and many adults, for that matter – require tangible rewards to undertake certain tasks. Since most kids are too young to fully grasp the long-term benefits of good reading comprehension, providing them with rewards in the short term can be an effective way to keep them motivated. For example, for every book a child successfully finishes, a small gift or a fun family outing can serve as a suitable reward. Short term rewards give children something to work toward in the present while honing skills that will serve them well throughout their lives.
It’s impossible to overstate the importance of good reading skills. Without solid reading comprehension, both school and the working world can seem like an absolute chore to navigate. There’s certainly no bad time to improve one’s reading abilities, but possessing good comprehension from an early age gives children a considerable advantage. As such, if your kids are having problems with reading comprehension, you’d be wise to nip this issue in the bud with the previously discussed pointers.